The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group located at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona is the biggest aircraft graveyard in the world.
“The Boneyard” as it is often called was created in 1946 to store some surplus DoD and navy planes but eventually grew to become the storage area for all out-of-service U.S. government aircraft.
It contains over 4000 aircraft including bombers, fighters like the F15 Eagle and F14 Tomcat, huge military transport planes like the C5a Galaxy, helicopters, jump jets as well as unique prototypes which never made it into service.
Interesting Facts about the Boneyard
- Some aircraft are stored for possible reuse, metal reclamation and others to be stripped for spare parts eg: forAustralia’s F-111 strike aircraft
- The climate at Tucson is friendly to aircraft with hard alkaline soil for them to move around on, low humidity and low rainfall. In fact the facility is so good at what it does that for every $1 the US government spends operating the facility, it saves or produces $11
- Under the terms of the Strategic Arms Reduction talks over 300 B-52 bombers had their wings cut from the fuselage and laid out in the Boneyard as evidence for Soviet satellites passing overhead
- The Boneyard doesn’t just store aircraft. It also stores inactive Titan intercontinental ballistic missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads
Visit the Boneyard
Public tours of the Boneyard are arranged by the adjacent Pima Air & Space Museum. At the time of writing this adult tickets were a mere $US 6.
Advance reservations are strongly recommended to guarantee seating. To make an AMARG tour reservation call PIMA and ask for the reservation desk.
You will need to check in at the Pima Air & Space Museum Store no later than 30 minutes prior to tour departure time or your reservation may be subject to cancellation. The tour bus boards at the Museum entrance.
Tours are given Monday through Friday (excluding US federal holidays) and last approximately one hour. Departure times are seasonal. Please call for current times.
Click on the image and Zoom in using “Birds Eye View” to view the planes really close up using Microsoft Maps